Natasha Miles

(Penn State, Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sceince)

"Oil and gas basin methane monitoring: Results from the Marcellus and Permian Basins"

What Meteo Colloquium
When Sep 08, 2021
from 03:30 pm to 04:30 pm
Where 112 Walker Building
Contact Name Kenneth Davis
Contact email
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Natasha Miles, Associate Research Professor


Leaks of methane from oil and natural gas production facilities impact the greenhouse gas footprint of these energy sources.  The rate of these emissions and their temporal variability, however, remain uncertain.  We used the chemistry-enabled Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF-Chem) convolved with prior estimates of emissions from inventory methods to compare with tower network and aircraft measurements of methane to determine the rate and temporal variability of methane emissions from two oil and natural gas basins in the U.S.  Emissions were found to be 0.36% of natural gas production in the Marcellus region in northeast Pennsylvania.  In the Permian region in Texas/New Mexico, emissions were about an order of magnitude larger, 3.4%, under typical conditions. However, during the spring 2020 COVID-lockdown, methane emissions in the Permian basin decreased significantly, suggesting that rapidly growing natural gas production in the region is typically exceeding the capacity of the processing facilities, leading to high methane emissions.  

Marcellus drilling rig